Each year, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3 as the cool kids call it, brings us an advanced look at all the cool new games coming to every major platform. It’s an opportunity for developers and publishers to showcase the best they have to offer to the future of gaming. The show has changed a lot over the years, but at its core, it’s a celebration of gaming and the players who love it.
As with every E3, there have been a ton of announcements this week. Here are the biggest:
Xbox Project Scarlett
We got our first glimpse of the future of Xbox at the Microsoft press conference this week. Much like the previously announced PlayStation 5, it’s all about faster load times, raytracing, and more power. The console itself wasn’t shown off, and we still don’t know its final name (the Xbox Scarlett wouldn’t be terrible, but it’s unlikely). However, we do know that it will be launching next year alongside Halo Infinite. This will be the first time a Halo game has launched with a new Xbox console since the original Xbox in 2001. The trailer Microsoft showed off is story focused, so we haven’t seen any gameplay just yet. However, the setup to the game’s story looks intriguing, and we’re certain to learn a lot more in the coming months.
A New Tales of from Bandai Namco
It’s been several years since the last mainline entry in the Tales series. This might even be the longest stretch without a new game in the series’s history. We did get the remastered version of Tales of Vesperia, but what fans have been craving is something all new. And by golly, we’re getting it. At Microsoft’s presser, Bandai Namco revealed the first trailer for Tales of Arise, the first entry in the series built from the ground-up for the current generation of consoles. And it shows. The previous two entries on PlayStation 4 were also launched on PlayStation 3, and so they were held back graphically. That’s no longer the case, and the hugely rich environments and detailed character models are evidence of that. With a story that involves tensions between two neighboring planets and a heroine on the run from her tribe, it’s looking like it maintains the series’s storytelling roots while increasing the visual fidelity tenfold.
Final. Fantasy. VII. Remake.
Holy cow, does this game look good. First revealed at 2015’s E3, the game entered radio silence until this year, when we’ve been bombarded with new trailers and a release date: March 3, 2020. The nine-month wait feels agonizing when what we’ve seen so far looks amazing, but cheers to Square Enix for getting a release date nailed down at long last. The game ditches the original’s turn-based battles for over-the-top real-time action. Crazy spell effects coming with insane special moves, and the whole thing looks incredible. This game will cover the Midgar section of the story, which fans will recognize as the first seven or eight hours of the original game. Square Enix claims they’ve expanded upon it, however, so it’s unlikely the runtime will be that low. We’ll just have to wait and see for sure early next year.
Basically Everything Nintendo Showed
Nintendo, as it always does, took a different approach compared to its competitors. Unlike Sony (who didn’t even show up to E3) and Microsoft (who focused a lot on the long-term future), Nintendo unleashed a ton of info on games that you’ll be able to play within the next year. From gems like the Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening remake for Switch to sci-fi action game Astral Chain to Luigi’s Mansion 3, there’s something there for everyone. Near and dear to my heart, Nintendo both announced the localization of Collection of Mana for the Switch, containing the never-released-in-America sequel to Secret of Mana, and released it the same day. You can go on the eShop right now and buy it. It’s insanity. They also want us to know they’re looking toward the future as well, however, ending their crazily good presentation with a trailer for a direct sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It’s never been a better time to be a Nintendo fan.